February 2012 Issue
Editor's Note: Last But Not Least
Perhaps magazine editors shouldn’t admit to having favorites, but I can’t help myself: Ohio Magazine
’s My Ohio essay is the feature I most eagerly anticipate as copy starts arriving for each issue.
When I get an email notification that the latest My Ohio is in my inbox, I can’t resist opening it immediately. Often, what I read makes my day. These essays, which appear on the last page of the magazine, are written by some of Ohio’s most talented freelance writers.
In December, as the prospect of another long winter loomed, John Gladden’s February essay arrived in my email. A former newspaper columnist, Gladden has a droll sense of humor and singular point of view that is clearly on display in “The Best Month” (see page 72).
“February,” he observes, “has an undeserved reputation for dreariness. In fact, it’s the month that has everything going for it.” Whereas in July “there is unrelenting pressure to aim high, to do big things … re-shingle the porch roof … pull weeds in the garden … mow the lawn,” in February one feels a sense of accomplishment just getting up when it’s “dark as truck stop coffee” and making it through the day.
Gladden’s work is not all humor, however. In the November 2011 issue, his My Ohio essay described a group of veterans — some in their 80s — who provide military honors for their fellow comrades in arms who are laid to rest at the Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery. The services take place every day — whether it’s “blazing hot or … snowing sideways” — at the Medina County cemetery.
One of the things I appreciate most about My Ohio essays is their variety. Jill Sell, an Ohio Magazine
contributing editor, wrote a delightful piece in 2010 on the pleasures and pitfalls of judging identical siblings at the Twins Days Festival in Twinsburg (“Seeing Double” can be found on our website, ohiomagazine.com). Then, in December 2011, she wrote about a holiday star that sat atop a silo when she was a child in Glenwillow, once a company town of explosives manufacturer Austin Powder Co. After the essay appeared, several readers contacted us to share their recollections of the star, and of the two explosions in 1968 that resulted in six fatalities.
We hope you read Ohio Magazine
cover to cover, and occasionally back
cover to cover. What you see on the last page of the magazine may make your day, too.